20151023 Charity begins at home – not. And other short stories.

Contrast that with my treatment at Malaysian Customs: I went to declare the food processor, producing the invoice. I explained that, because of the UK rules, I had not been able to reclaim the VAT on departure. Malaysian customs calculated the nett price of the product, then deducted the tax I had already paid and calculated the import duty on that price. I thought it was an incorrect calculation and I was being undercharged – but after it was explained to me, it made sense. There was no delay, no argument, just rapid, fair treatment, as I get every time I come home to KL with goods to declare.

The speed of getting through airports is important. On departure, I sat in my living room in central KL drinking coffee. I used MyTeksi (Grab) to book a car. It was two minutes away. I immediately washed my coffee cup and went downstairs, the lift being unusually co-operative and arriving immediately. The car was waiting. He drove me to the station, where a train was waiting. That took me to the airport where my pre-printed boarding pass whisked me through, customs / security scanning and immigration had no queues. I was at the gate less than an hour after making the taxi booking.

Contrast that with LHR: travelling with hand luggage only it took me more than an hour to get from the plane to the car on arrival at Heathrow.

With time to kill in KLIA, I went to what has been, in my extensive experience, the best Burger King in the whole world for at least a decade. What have they done? In the few weeks since my last visit, the food has gone from outstanding to disgraceful. Cold, greasy, overcooked burger with gristle in it, flaccid chips and an almost stale bun. How does that happen? From treat to dustbin in four or five mouthfuls. And a “never again,” flag.